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The NC Agromedicine Institute is a University of North Carolina Institute.

Member Universities:
East Carolina University
North Carolina State University
NC Agricultural & Technical State University
Ergonomic Interventions for the Agricultural Industry
Project Name: Ergonomic Interventions for the Agricultural Industry

Principal Investigator: Gary Allen Mirka, PhD

Project Type: Core Research

Project Description: The specific aim of this project is to develop and test ergonomic interventions for the reduction of the incidence and severity of musculoskeletal disorders among people working in the agriculture industry. The overall process involves:

  1. identification of high risk jobs/tasks,
  2. ergonomic task analysis of these high risk jobs/tasks to identify the specific ergonomic risk factors seen in these jobs/tasks (this includes some basic biomechanical research to better understand the underlying mechanism of injury),
  3. prototyping of ergonomic interventions for the reduction of exposure to these ergonomic risk factors,
  4. laboratory assessment of the effectiveness of these solutions,
  5. fabrication of field-ready ergonomic interventions, and
  6. field evaluation of these solutions

Project Activities and Accomplishments:

Refereed Journal Publications Resulting from Work:

(1) Shin G and GA Mirka (2004) “The Effects of a Sloped Ground Surface on Trunk Kinematics and L5/S1 Moment during Lifting”, Ergonomics 47(6):  646-659.

(2) Shin G, Y Shu, Z Li, Z Jiang and GA Mirka (2004) “Influence of Knee Angle and Individual Flexibility on the Flexion-Relaxation Response of the Low Back Musculature”, Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 14(4):  485-494.

(3) Mirka GA, G Shin, K Kucera and D Loomis (2005) “Use of the CABS Methodology to Assess Biomechanical Stress in Commercial Crab Fishermen”, Applied Ergonomics 36(1):  61-70.

(4) Jiang Z, G Shin, JH Freeman, S Reid and GA Mirka (2005) “A Study of Lifting Tasks Performed on Laterally Slanted Ground Surfaces”, Ergonomics 48(7):  782-795.

(5) Shu Y, J Drum, SA Southard, G Shin and GA Mirka (2005) “The Effect of a Repetitive, Fatiguing Lifting Task on Horizontal Ground Reaction Forces”, Journal of Applied Biomechanics 21(3):  260-270.

(6) Brandenburg DL and GA Mirka (2005) “Assessing the Effects of Positive Feedback and Reinforcement in the Introduction Phase of an Ergonomic Intervention”, HumanFactors 47(3):  526-535.

(7) Southard SA, JH Freeman, JE Drum and GA Mirka (2007) “Ergonomic Interventions for the Reduction of Back and Shoulder Biomechanical Loading when Weighing Calves”, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 37(2): 103-110.

(8) Shin G, and GA Mirka (2007) “An In-Vivo Assessment of the Low Back Response to Prolonged Flexion: Interplay Between Active and Passive Tissues”, Clinical Biomechanics, 22:  965-971.

(9) Shu Y, Z Jiang, X Xu, and GA Mirka (2007) “The Effect of a Knee Support on the Biomechanical Response of the Low Back”, Applied Biomechanics, 23(4): 275-281.

(10) Anderson AP, KA Meador, LR McClure, D Makrozahopoulos, DJ Brooks and GA Mirka (2007) “A Biomechanical Analysis of Anterior Load Carriage”, Ergonomics, 50(12): 2104-2117.

(11) Kucera KL, GA Mirka, D Loomis, SW Marshall, HJ Lipscomb, and J Daniels (2008) “Evaluating Ergonomic Stresses in North Carolina Commercial Crab Pot and Gill Net Fishermen”, Journal of Occupational & Environmental Hygiene, 5(3): 182-196.

(12) Mirka GA, S Jin, and J Hoyle (2009) “An Evaluation of Arborist Handsaws”, AppliedErgonomics, 40(1):  8-14.

(13)Jin S, RS McCulloch and GA Mirka (Accepted) “Biomechanical Evaluation of Postures Assumed When Harvesting from Bush Crops”, To Appear in International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics.